Pan-Asianism is an ideology that Asian countries and peoples share similar values and similar histories and should be united politically or culturally.


Pan-Asianism in Japan

Pan-Asian thought in Japan began to develop in the late nineteenth century and was spurred on particularly following the defeat of Russia in the Russo-Japanese War (1904 - 1905). This created interest from Rabindranath Tagore, Sun Yat-Sen and Sri Aurobindo.

The Japanese Pan-Asianist Okakura Kakuzo coined the phrase "Asia is One" in his book " [ The Ideals of the East] ", (1904):

:"ASIA is one. The Himalayas divide, only to accentuate, two mighty civilisations, the Chinese with its communism of Confucius, and the Indian with its individualism of the Vedas. But not even the snowy barriers can interrupt for one moment that broad expanse of love for the Ultimate and Universal, which is the common thought-inheritance of every Asiatic race, enabling them to produce all the great religions of the world, and distinguishing them from those maritime peoples of the Mediterranean and the Baltic, who love to dwell on the Particular, and to search out the means, not the end, of life."

In this Okakura was utilising the Japanese concept of "sangoku", which existed in Japanese culture before the concept of Asia became popularised. "Sangoku" literally means the "three countries": "Honshū" (the largest island of Japan), "Tō" (China) and "Tenjiku" (India).


The growing official interest in broader Asian concerns was shown in the establishment of facilities for Indian Studies. In 1899 Tokyo Imperial University set up a chair in Sanskrit and Pali, with a further chair in Comparative religion being set up in 1903. In this environment, a number of Indian students came to Japan in the early twentieth century, founding the Oriental Youngmen's Association in 1900. Their anti-British political activity caused consternation to the Indian Government, following a report in the London "Spectator".

Sun Yat-Sen in 1924 and Lee Kuan Yew in the 1990s both argue that the political models and ideologies of Europe lack values and concepts found in Asian societies and philosophies. Some proponents argue that these values are better for all human societies. Some would argue that they are better or more suited for Asian societies. European values such as individual rights and freedoms would not be suited for Asian societies in this extreme formulation of Pan-Asianism.

In the 1930s and 1940s this ideology was used by the Japanese government as part of a propaganda campaign against European (and U.S.) imperialism in support of its rival imperialist Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

During the Cold War Pan-Asianism took a back seat. Several countries like India, Cambodia and Indonesia advocated for greater ties with the rest of the developing world within and beyond Asia, while others were economically and politically more orientated towards either one of the superpowers. However ASEAN emerged in 1967, providing a framework for cooperation in South-East Asia.

The idea of Asian values is somewhat of a resurgence of Pan-Asianism. One foremost enthusiast of the idea of Asian values is the former prime minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew.In India,Rammanohar Lohia dreamt of a united socialist Asia. In recent times,bandwagon of Indian asianists is being led by Niraj Kamal.

Articles that mention Pan-Asianism include:
* [ Sun Yat Sen's 1924 speech on Pan-Asianism]

Pan-Asian activists and theorists


*Sun Yat-Sen (1866-1925), the Chinese Nationalist Leader
*Liang Ch'i Chao,the editor of Qingyi bao(1898-1901) and Xinmin Congbao(1902-1907)
* [Zhang Binglin] , the editor of Min bao(1907-)
*Li Tachao,drafted article 'Greater Pan-Asianism and the New Pan-Asianism',(1919)
*Dai Jitao,KMT thinker who headed journal Hsin Ya-hsi-ya(New Asia),(1930) and visited Shantiniketan,India.


*Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), Bengali poet, philosopher, artist, playwright, novelist, composer, and Nobel laureate
*Keshab Chandra Sen(1838-1884), leader of the Brahmo Samaj
*J.S.Ramachandra Rao,author of book 'East and West',(1905)
*Sri Aurobindo Ghosh, mystic,great revolutionary and editor of 'Bande Mataram'.
*Maulana Mohammad Ali,President of Indian National Congress(1923-1924) and proponent of Pan-Asiatic Federation.
*Benoy Sarkar,author of 'The Futurism of Young Asia and Other Essays on the Relationship Between the East and the West'(1922) and 'Chinese Religion through Hindu Eyes:A Study in the tendencies of Asiatic mentality'(1916)
*K.M.Pannikar,first Indian Ambassdor to China, author of 'Asia and Western Dominance'.
*Niraj Kamal (1973- ), Poet,philosopher,social activist,author of first ever book on theory,history,practice and future of pan-asianism,'Arise Asia:Respond to White Peril'(2002).


*Okakura Kakuzo
*Okawa Shumei
*Kusama Tokifuku(1853-1992)
*Sugita Teiichi(1851-1920)
*Oi Kentaro(1843-1922)
*Tarui Tokichi(1850-1922)
*Nakae Chomin(1847-1901)
*Takayama Chogyu(1871-1902)
*Konoe Atsumaro
*Mori Agai
*Kita Ikki
*Odera Kenkichi,author of 1200-page text Dai Asia Shugi-ron(Theory of Pan-Asianism)(1916).
*Ishiwara Kanji
*Royama Masamachi
*Ishibashi Tanzan
*Kishi Nobusuke
*Tanaka Kakuei
*Yoichi Funabashi
*Ogura Kazuo
*Shintaro Ishihara


*An Jung-geun


Sven Saaler and J. Victor Koschmann, eds., "Pan-Asianism in Modern Japanese History. Colonialism, Regionalism and Borders." London and New York: Routledge, 2007.

Further reading

* Starrs, Roy (2001) "Asian Nationalism in an Age of Globalization." London: RoutledgeCurzon ISBN 1903350034.
* Starrs, Roy (2002) "Nations Under Siege: Globalization and Nationalism in Asia." New York: Palgrave Macmillan ISBN 0312294107.
* [Niraj Kamal|Kamal,Niraj] (2002) "Arise Asia:Respond To White Peril." New Delhi:Wordsmith ISBN 8187412089.

See also

* East Asia Summit, which has been proposed as a possible vehicle for an East Asian Community and East Asian Free Trade Agreement involving 16 "Asian" nations (including China, India, South Korea and Japan, the ASEAN countries and also Australia and New Zealand)

External links

* [ An Artist Remembered by Satyasri Ukil]
* [ Yokoyama Taikan: As I Knew Him by Mukul Dey]
* [ Remembering Tomitaro Hara by Satyasri Ukil]
* [ Mukul Dey: A Brief Profile by Satyasri Ukil]
* [}

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